On February 12, 2024, the Wichita school distrust hosts a meeting on Monday night to discuss the recommendation to close six schools, two middle schools, and four elementary schools. The schools included are:
- Hadley Middle School
- Jardine STEM and Career Exploration Academy
- Cleaveland Traditional Magnet
- Park Elementary Schools
The reason for closing schools is that Wichita is dealing with “declining enrollment and a $42 million budget shortfall.” https://www.kmuw.org/2024-02-12/looking-to-cut-costs-wichita-proposes-closing-two-middle-schools-and-four-elementaries. Bielefeld is also saying that they need to close some schools to avoid laying off employees. The schools that they want to close are most likely in the South and West parts of the district.
Closing and consolidating schools is a way to prevent job cuts and address budget challenges. By reducing the number of schools, they can save on costs like maintenance and utilities. This will allow them to allocate more resources to improve education quality and provide better opportunities for USD 259 students. While it is a difficult decision, the district believes it is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the district.